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All Things Created

Sister Doreen’s Reflections

The Canadian Anglican Church Calendar 2024 has as its overall theme this year “All Things Created”. The January Scripture Theme is 1 Cor. 15:41:

“There is one glory of the sun and another glory of the moon with another glory of the stars; Indeed star differs from star in glory.”

When thinking about the passage, in a personal reflective way about each other, our world and all of creation, and how unique everything and everyone is I found myself pondering the snowflakes that were falling as I looked outside the window. This is the season when one notices and enjoys the beauty of winter. Each snowflake was different, much like each one of us is! There is no one in the whole of creation that is exactly like me! Or like you! It brought to my mind psalm 139, how we are fearfully (awesomely) and wonderfully made, known, and loved for our very own selves. When we reach out in longing to God … “search me out and know me” … we long to be known, and to know, that authentic person that I really am, unique, special, awesomely, and wonderfully made!

This can be a challenge in today’s culture. So many don’t like to feel that they are different, we pay far too much attention to what other people think of us, strive too hard to measure up to what we believe others expect of us. It is easy to lose ourselves, our authentic selves, in a sea of cultural homogeneousness! To do so is to lose the beauty of uniqueness, the actual gift that is being talked about in 1 Corinthians – loved so much and with such a personal love, that we are created, each one special, and given a special destiny in sharing that uniqueness.

The statement “no one is exactly like you” for me emphasizes the uniqueness of everyone.   It acknowledges that every one of us has a distinct combination of experiences, perspectives, and characteristics that shape who we are. This idea highlights for me the value of diversity and the importance of embracing and celebrating our differences. It holds out the great spiritual challenge of learning to live together with all our differences, so needed in the world today. It also suggests that each person has something unique to offer to the world, whether it’s their talents, insights, their presence, or personal story. By embracing the idea that no one is exactly like you, it can foster a sense of appreciation for an individuality that promotes inclusivity and interdependence. To be whole as a people and as a world and all of creation, we need each other, in all our uniqueness.

I’d like to share a poem about a snowflake – read it with the inner eye of the heart!

A Prose Poem about Snowflakes by © Written by Dr. Bettina Sieber

“From the heights of the sky, I fall, a small world unto itself, clothed in air. Made of mist and water, I am a daughter of white mountain clouds, from their womb I am born into the open void. As I glide through the heavens, each turn is luminous unbound joy, each descent a song of freedom. In my dance, there is no restraint, only the pure elation of being. I am but a whisper of white, cradling a world of glittering frost within.

My form is a tale of both simplicity and complexity, – part star, part bloom, crystalline, translucent – a dance of the ephemeral and the eternal. I wear a gown of unadorned white, yet my structure is complex geometry, finely chiseled, each facet meticulously carved by an unseen artisan’s hand. I love the light, I shimmer, an illuminating presence, casting clarity for those who want to see with their inner eye.

I radiate in harmony with the light, for dance, joy, lightness, and exuberance are my very essence.

In my intricate dance, there’s a delicate touch, my structure finely crafted and porous, open to absorbing love and feeling pain.

I embrace all – the sun’s radiant caress, the world’s tainted touch. Clad in earthly dust, I look sordid.

I dissolve, perspiring, tears washing over me transforming into pure, unified water. Unscarred at my core, I rise anew, I make love to the clouds and the winds, reborn into my tangible self. In the sky, I am the Muse, light and blissful, following the wind’s lead to twirl and whirl, to swirl in my joyful descent.

Ephemeral, I am – warmth’s kiss is my undoing, my nature a fleeting reverie. As hands reach for me, I transform, surrendering to the dream of the waters and skies.

Varied in form yet unified in essence, each of us is crafted from the same mystical thread that binds all souls. I dance alone, unique, different, not conforming. Yet, within me lies the strength to intertwine with all my brothers and sisters, in a close embrace, together we dance and love, each enriching the other, creating an expanse of glistening white. My presence is quiet and gentle, united we possess the power to transform the landscape of souls into a wonder robed in while.

I wish my words were snowflakes, offering solace to those scorched by a world in fire, a balm against the excess of Yang of our times. Though they may be fleeting, like snowflakes that gently melt away, I wish them to create moments of peace and mirth, bringing a breath of lightness to all. Birthed from a land of eternal snow, I aspire to reach hearts and souls with these delicate flakes. Speaking of our universal bond, our shared humanity in a world that yeans for the serene stillness of winter’s white.”

In a delightful book called The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy there are the following comments back and forth between these four friends: “What do you think is the biggest waste of time?” “Comparing yourself to others,” said the Mole. “Most of the old Moles I know wish they have listened less to their fears and more to their dreams.” They go on to ask another question: “What’s your best discovery”? “asked the Mole. “That I’m enough as I am,” said the Boy. “Don’t measure how valuable you are by the way you are treated. Always remember you matter, you’re important and you are loved, and you bring to this world things no one else can.”

There is no one in the whole of creation that is exactly like me! Or like you! It brought to my mind psalm 139, how we are fearfully (awesomely) and wonderfully made, known, and loved for our very own selves. When we reach out in longing to God … “search me out and know me” … we long to be known, and to know, that authentic person that I really am unique, special, awesome, and wonderfully made!